Ready to turn your passion for baking into a business? Here are some of the unique ways to accomplish this. In the United States, retail sales for baked products in 2017 rose by 1.6% with further grow projected through 2022. As you’ll discover, many of these ideas can be started from a home kitchen thanks to Cottage food business laws.
Curious about what type of baking business you could start? Here are some of our best ideas organized by category. If you find an idea that piques your interest, don’t forgot to dive into the extended resources we’ve provided for each idea.
- Home Based Bakery
- Bakery Truck
- Healthy / Ancient Grain Baking Company
- Alcohol-Infused Baking Company
- Gluten-Free Bakery
- Cracker Company
- Kosher Baking Brand
- Mexican Bakery
- French Bakery
- Cupcake Business
- Cinnamon Bun Company
- Tortilla Company
- Flat Bread Company
- Pita Company
- Cauliflower Crust Company
- Bread Baking Business
- Baking Classes
- Baking Supply Shop
- Baking Blog
- Coffee Shop and Bakery
- Cookbook Author
- Wedding Cake Business
- Cookie Business
- Pie Business
- Donut Shop Business
- Banana Bread Business
- Cake Pop Business
- Food Photographer
- Retail Bake Shop
- Organic Bakery
- Brownie Business
- E-Commerce Store
- Cake Decorator
- Personal Chef / Baker
- French Pastry Business
- Sandwich Business
- Churro Business
When Jennifer Jacobs started thinking about opening a bakery our of her home she was worried customers wouldn’t view her was as legitimate. Will anyone take me seriously if I don’t have a retail bakery she wondered? But as it turns out, if you can bake well, customers don’t care at all.
Jennifer even asked successful bakery owners in her hometown of St. Petersburg for advice. The advice from entrepreneurs who already opened their own bakeries was resounding… You should start selling cookies, cakes, donuts, or whatever out of your home first. Use the time at home to build your client list. As your baking business grows and becomes profitable then you can move into a retail space.
Starting a business can be daunting especially when you think about the expenses. One factor is rent. Rent and labor are the two largest expenses for most businesses and can quickly add up to a few thousands dollars per month in overheard. Lease agreements at retail spaces can be 5 years or longer. That’s a long commitment for any unproven business.
Depending on the baking equipment you already own, you can open a home base baker for next to nothing. Otherwise make sure to build mixers, baking pans, spoons, bowls, and other basics into the cost estimate of your plan. Also, don’t forget to setup your bakery as a cottage food business. The cost to start a cottage food business will vary depending on your state, but is usually less than $200 in fees.
In comparison, if you planned to open a retail bakery will require around $50,000 – $250,000 to open up. Imagine how much more you can save by just being a home-based bakery. It can be a whole lot less stressful to get started too.
Keep in mind that home-based bakeries will rely on marketing to get their name out there so make use of marketing strategies such as advertising on social media especially on Facebook since it’s considered the main content distribution site for marketers.
Jennifer Jacobs got her start selling cookies to her co-workers. After her co-workers kept making repeat purchases, she knew she was onto something. By the way after many years running a bakery from her home, Jennifer now owns a beautiful retail location called Wandering Whisk Bakeshop in St. Petersburg, Florida. Learn more about her story and how you can open an at-home bakery.
Think food truck but with bread displayed for you as you would see at your local bakery. Bakery trucks can be a hit if you set your mind to it and offer up a display with appetizing varieties of bread.
A bakery food truck might cost $35,000 – $75,000 depending on the age, equipment, and model of unit. Depending on your state laws, you might also need to a commissary where you can bake the bread there and just have it displayed in the truck afterward.
If you install an oven onboard the food truck, you’ll have an effective marketing tactic with the delicious smells you’ll put into the air at events. Keep in mind that due to size limitations on the truck, you may still need to bake in a commercial kitchen. A lot of the space on the truck will be used for displaying your pastries and other baked goods.
Healthy / Ancient Grain Baking Company
Ancient grain baking makes use of flour such as buckwheat, barley, kamut, millet, amaranth, and many more. These grains existed before the modern grains we use for baking today thereby providing a healthier and more natural baking experience. The flavors are nutty with a texture that’s chewy and delicious.
Though the startup cost for this business is like your usual bakery, the important thing is to find a supplier for ancient grains so you can get a good deal to buy it in bulk than buy it off shelves from supermarkets. As more consumers continue looking for healthier eating options, baked goods made with ancient grains will be in demand. Learn how a Culinary Grad Built a $26k/Month Pastry Shop.
Alcohol-Infused Baking Company
Did you know that a little bit of rum on certain bread recipes turns them more smoky and flavorful? Like on cakes, cookies, and cobbler. Adding alcohol like rum, brandy, and wine to desserts will set your taste buds tingling at how heavenly and divine they’ll turn out.
Starting an alcohol-infused baking company is a fun baking business idea. Bakery startup costs begin at $40,000. Be sure to make a business plan so you don’t leave out any details in planning your company. Include your concept, your desired menu, and the expenses for the alcohol. Getting creative about which baked products go well with alcohol, and how much you should put, should be carefully planned out and tested before you can release it. Also keep in mind that your customer will need to be 21 years of age or older to enjoy these baked goods.
If this opportunity sounds appealing, learn how Courtney McKamey started her own alcohol-infused baking business that generates $1,800 per month in revenue.
If you hear the woes of many who suffer from allergic reactions to gluten and therefore cannot have usual baked goods, providing gluten-free baked treats is the key. There is a market for it since 6% of the US population suffers from being sensitive to gluten. It’s easy to start one if you find a steady supplier for gluten-free flour mixes. These are usually brown rice flour, almond flour or oat flour, and starches that come from tapioca or potato.
Gluten-free flour may be a little expensive than your usual flour (almond flour costs $7.49 per one pound) but if you can get it in bulk or find a supplier that sells it wholesale, you may get it at a cheaper price. If you want to open a gluten-free business, read our past interview with Orange Dot Baking Company that does $150,000 per year in sales selling specialty muffins.
Cracker businesses tend to be overlooked by many since it’s so simple. But crackers play a big role in the food industry. You’ll see crackers paired with soups, served as snacks, and even used as a baking ingredient for desserts.
Two moms that executed on this exact business idea to heart are Suzanne and Jessica from Defy Foods, a keto-friendly cracker company that generated over $47,000 in preorders with a KickStarter campaign. The friends came up with their keto-cracker recipe after making the shift to a keto-friendly diet themselves and finding out how hard it was to find a good tasting cracker that aligned with the guidelines of this diet.
Kosher Baking Brand
Food that is kosher means that it’s free from any meat and dairy. It also means food is prepared under traditional Jewish laws. But kosher food isn’t just for Jewish customers. The market for this food preparation practice is also catered to those looking for a lactose-free diet, vegans, vegetarians, and those interested in a healthy diet.
There are numerous varieties of bread you can bake that are kosher. Some of these are as simple as bagels, challah, and babka but you’ll also find dinner rolls, buns, and pizza crusts that are kosher. The startup cost for putting up a kosher bakery is just the same as any other retail bakery ($50,000 – $250,000). You will need to ensure you have a rabbi inspect your bakery regularly to maintain your kosher credentials.
Want to serve pan dulce (sweet bread), conchas, empanadas, and galletas? Then you have an eye for putting up a Mexican bakery. These bakeries sell sweet bread and pastries with custard or the bread is covered in sugar. In 2016, Latin America saw Mexico have the second-largest bakery market.
The beauty of a Mexican bakery comes from the amount and varieties of bread displayed. Invest in display racks that are usually from $200 to $300 to lure your customers in. This is a fantastic concept, especially if you live in an area with a large Hispanic population like Southern California or Texas.
Related Reading: 101 Creative Bakery Names You Can Use Right Now
French baguettes and other types of rustic bread are widely loved for their taste that there’s even a French Bread law to protect how its traditionally made. The law states that it can only be made with four ingredients: yeast, water, salt, and wheat flour.
If you’re going to put up a French bakery that specializes in baguettes, aside from the usual bakery startup costs mentioned above, you’ll need to invest in some baguette pans to keep the size uniform. Depending on the length and sizes of these pans, they’ll cost about $20 to $30. If you want to open a French bakery, download our bakery business plan template here.
According to reports, Americans eat more than 770 million cupcakes each year. You can feel confident knowing there’s plenty of demand for these treats no matter where you plan to operate. Cupcakes are eye-catching desserts that make fantastic social media content so marketing your business can be fun too.
Depending on the setup you have in mind, such as having a home-based setup or a storefront, cupcake business startup costs range from $50,000 to $300,000 for a retail space. Or you could start making cupcakes out of your house for almost no overhead.
Cinnamon Bun Company
In 2020, 67.46 million Americans preferred cinnamon rolls as breakfast pastries as compared to danish and honey buns. You can have several toppings of it aside from just the classic cinnamon bun such as cookies and cream, pecan, chocolate, banana, strawberry, and marshmallows.
If you’re not sure how to start a cinnamon bun business, you can opt to franchise instead. At the time of writing, Cinnabon’s initial franchise fee starts at $30,000. A home-based bakery also works well if you want to make and sell this product.
There are so many things you can do with a tortilla. You can make thin-crust pizza, nachos, enchiladas, sandwich wraps, quesadillas, and more. The only thing that’s better than a normal tortilla is one freshly made by hand and locally produced.
To open a tortilla company, you’ll need to invest in a good tortilla press which can cost around $1,000 to $10,000. You can have the option to do it by hand which is cheaper but it’s considered laborious and not efficient for bulk orders. The appealing aspect of operating this business is you can sell direct to consumer, Mexican restaurants, or grocery stores.
Flat Bread Company
There are different kinds of flatbreads made all over the world. There’s the tortilla, naan, piadina, pita, focaccia, and many more. It is expected that the global flatbread demand will rise by 6% until 2027, which makes this growing subset of baked goods industry.
Startup costs for flatbread bakeries are the same other bakeries ($50,000 – $250,000). But your machinery will need to include a dough mixer, tortilla press, and even a tandoor if you would like to do this traditionally. Otherwise, you can use a convection oven for baking most flatbreads.
Pita bread is ideal for shawarma, souvlaki wraps, falafel wraps, or just eaten with hummus. You can even bake these longer and turn them into crispy chips. Pita, along with different flatbreads, is becoming widely popular due to increased demand for authentic ethnic food. Their health benefit includes having a low-calorie count and high protein.
Cauliflower Crust Company
Cauliflower crusts are a hit because it is low in sugar and packed with fiber. Vegetable-based substitutes for carbs amounted to $47 million in 2018 with cauliflower substitutes, crust included, reaching $17 million which is doubled from the previous year’s sales.
Aside from crusts, you can also use cauliflower for the following desserts:
To start, look for a steady supplier of cauliflower, parmesan cheese, and eggs since these three are the main ingredients in making cauliflower crust. These prices vary per state so check with your local farms before conducting your final cost analysis.
Bread Baking Business
According to Snack and Bakery, bakery products have been everyone’s comfort food during the pandemic. Though there has already been a demand for these products before, the current environment has only increased demand.
You can opt to do sweet bread such as:
- Banana bread
- Carrot and walnut loaves
- Cranberry loaves
- Honey buns
You can also choose whether to do a home-based bread baking business or open a storefront. Opening a home-based shop is ideal for testing the waters without much risk. But you’ll still have to invest in equipment such as a convection oven, proofer, and mixer that can quickly add up to $40,000 if you buy brand new.
According to the BLS, the demand for employing bakers is expected to grow up to 5% from 2019 to 2029. With this comes the possibility that there will be many who will opt to take baking classes to further their knowledge in this area.
Not only are future bakers looking to upgrade their skills, but all sorts of people are learning how to bake as a hobby. You could teach everything from how to bake a cake, sourdough bread, frosting decoration tips, and more. Thanks to free video streaming services like Facebook Live and YouTube, you don’t need to pay anything to host an online class teaching a subject you know about.
Michelle Green makes thousands of dollars each month selling different baking courses online. Michelle’s classes include topics like includes cake decorating and how to start a bakery business. You can host baking classes and give short courses for aspiring bakers and cover topics such as:
- Basic Bread Baking
- Baking Sourdough
- How To Use Puff Pastries
- Making Pies
- Cookie Classes
- Gluten-free Baking Classes
Colleges charge top dollar for these types of trainings too. Certificate courses start at $20,000 and last for 3 to 15 months. But you can also do a one week course on the subject for beginners for less money.
Baking Supply Shop
Looking for a baking business but don’t want to be in the heat of the kitchen? Be a bakery supply shop instead. Aside from stocking up on baking equipment such as baking trays, whisks, measuring cups, and ingredients, you might want to offer different kinds of packaging materials.
The packaging industry is expected to reach $1.05 trillion in 2024 and though you won’t be focusing on just packaging alone, you’ll expect customers to come into your shop looking for ready-made cake boxes and cute cupcake containers.
You will need a place for this so find a space you can rent to have all your items displayed. It would also help if you have a stock room. Rental prices depend on the location. Some may be $11 per square foot while others can go as high as $23 per square foot. This is a great way to get around other bakers without spending time in the kitchen yourself.
If you like baking and sharing your creations on social media then becoming a food blogger could be the right business for you. You’ll still be baking actual products so you can share recipes, tips, and photos on your blog. This is a great business you can start in your spare time and on weekends while still holding down full-time employment.
The cost of putting up your website with design can be only a few dollars per month with a basic hosting package. I published a full-blog post on the subject of starting a baking blog here if it’s something you’re interested in.
Coffee Shop and Bakery
Bring your love for coffee and baked treats together by putting up a coffee shop and bakery. You can be baking the bread to one side and serve coffee or cold drinks on the other. You may also opt to have a dine-in area or have everything ready for take-out.
The cost of starting a coffee shop is $80,000 minimum. Adding in the bakery might get you to reach more than $100,000. Plan it out carefully by making a business plan first before deciding on anything solid. If starting a business on a budget, check out our four step plan to opening a coffee shop without money or experience.
More people continue to make meals at home that cookbook sales have grown this year. Bread cookbooks sales in particular grew by 145%. If you’re willing to share your recipe ideas then consider writing a cookbook. You can fill it with all your favorites and provide tips and tricks on how to get it done. Publishing a book costs $100 to $2,500 and this depends on the number of pages and design.
Related Reading: 147 Artisan Cookbook Name Ideas You Can Use
Wedding Cake Business
Selling wedding cakes are a profitable business idea. 2018 saw $17.6 billion in cake sales in the United States, including wedding cakes. It’s expected to total $20.11 billion by 2022.
Wedding cakes start from $400 to $4,000 depending on the design and number of layers. If you have what it takes to bake and design towered cakes or minimalistic rustic cakes then you should try this out.
Related Reading: How We Started a One-of-a-Kind Cheesecake Business
Valued at $30.62 billion in 2018, the global cookie market is still expected to rise at 5.3% from 2019 to 2025. Cookie businesses are also known as a one-man show so you don’t need to hire a lot of people and worry about payroll expenses. Unless of course, you’re expanding this into a big business so you need all the help you can get.
For a home-based cookie business, you will need the basics:
- Cookie sheets and trays
- Ingredients (flour, butter, salt, chocolate chips, nuts, oatmeal, vanilla extract, etc.)
These all cost around a few hundred to a thousand dollars and depends on the size of your business. One of the best cookie success stories we’ve featured on the blog is with Sasha Crescentini, the co-founder of Bakeology. Sasha and her mother started a vegan cookie business doing $75k per month in sales.
There is a 1.52% annual growth rate for pie consumption making this a great baking business idea. The varieties of pie flavors are endless. You can have the classic apple pie, key lime, and berry, or you can go for the savory ones like meat pies.
If you’re starting this business from scratch, why not try a pop-up pie business? Pop-up stores are temporary spaces where you can sell your pies. This way, you can test out the market and location before proceeding to a bigger rental space. Consumers also tend to visit pop-up stores for a unique experience which you can focus on when selling them your pies. Pop-up spaces that are short-term starts at $1,500.
Donut Shop Business
Around 201.02 million Americans ate donuts in 2020. This is expected to rise to 207.31 million in 2024. If you’re thinking of opening one, a donut shop costs around $10,000 to $15,000. Learn how to open a donut shop in 90 days or less with our ultimate guide on the subject.
Banana Bread Business
In 2019, banana bread had a market size of $1.07 billion. It is expected to grow from 2020 to 2027 to 3.9%. Banana bread businesses are not a hassle to make and the ingredients are simple. The key here is to use ripe bananas to bring out the flavor.
There is no need for you to put up a store if you’re only selling banana bread although you can check out small rental spaces for this. But having an online or home-based banana bread business if you’re starting can be quite helpful and will help you save a lot of money.
Cake Pop Business
Cake pops are small round pieces of cake with a stick. They resemble lollipops at first glance. These cake pops come in different flavors like chocolate, strawberry, or ones that are covered in sprinkles.
Cake pop businesses are a hit in the UK. You can try aiming your marketing strategy for cake pops to catering to events so you can make the most out of your baking business.
One of the reasons why people are attracted to a certain restaurant’s dish is because they’ve seen the promotional pictures of it and think how delicious it looks. These are the works of food photographers and if you have the talent and eye for it, you can make this into a business too. Food photographers earn an estimated $28 per hour for their service.
Retail Bake Shop
A retail bakery shop is one that sells from their oven to the customers. With this kind of setup, you’ll need the space to bake your bread and the area to display and sell them. Startup costs for a retail bakery shop are around $10,000 to $50,000.
An organic bakery is one that carries a line of baked products that contain organic ingredients. This means that the flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and other ingredients do not contain additives, pesticides, and are all natural.
Make sure to find a supplier for these so you can buy your organic ingredients at a cheaper wholesale price.
Fudgy brownies are a household favorite. Americans consume over 1.5 billion brownies a year. They’re easy to make and sell and are affordable too. You also don’t need a physical store for this when you’re just starting so you can just bake at home and expand when you’ve saved enough money for rental expenses.
An e-commerce store is one that sells products online. You would need a dependable and user-friendly website and then have different food sellers buy an account from you. In simpler terms, it’s like you’re hosting an online market where different sellers can sell their products. Learn about the five ways to sell your food online here.
Decorated cakes make up 26.3% of the cake making industry in the United States. Cake decorators earn an average hourly rate of $12.89. They use a special type of icing known as fondant to sculpt their cakes better to their customer’s needs. Creativity is the main skill a cake decorator must possess so try it out if you have the patience and expertise for this
Personal Chef / Baker
The market for personal chefs between 2016 and 2026 is expected to grow by 5.2%. The average hourly rate for a personal chef is $21.36 while the average hourly rate for a personal baker is $12.40.
French Pastry Business
French pastries such as crepes, croissants, éclairs, madeleines, and macarons are well-loved. But if you’re the one making these, you’d know how the ingredients for these pastries can be quite expensive. For instance, macarons use almond flour which is $10.98 for two pounds.
There’s also the laborious process in making such delicate pastries. But if you don’t mind the expensive ingredients, French pastries can be a profitable and aesthetically pleasing baking business.
47% of adults eat sandwiches on any given day. That’s why sandwich businesses thrive, especially ones that make sub sandwiches because they’re filling and less greasy than having fast food on the go.
If you want to start with a franchise, the cost is estimated to start at $100,000. However, popular and bigger sub sandwich brands will cost more than that.
Churros are some of the top selling treats at places like DisneyLand resorts. At these resorts it’s not uncommon to pay $6 or more for a flavored churro like cinnamon sugar, pumpkin spice, or ginger bread depending on the season.
Start with a kiosk if you’d like to minimize expenses. You can make churros by hand by using a piping bag or if you’re looking for a long-term investment, you can buy a churro maker. All in with a cart, you can start this business for well under $15,000 in most areas.
We hope you discovered a few baking business ideas that resonate with you. Are there any on the list that caught your attention? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re serious about starting a baking business, don’t forget to join our free food business community. You’ll get a new food business case study delivered to your inbox every single week when you join.